Weather events around the globe are increasing in frequency and severity. With every historically devastating hurricane, blizzard or tornado, the potential exists to rock the performance of the supply network that conveys raw materials, components such as Zowie semiconductor products, and smartphones and computers to their end users. What steps can you take to make your supply chain less susceptible to these often devastating conditions?
Be Proactive and Reactive
Preparing for meteorological events involves a combination of risk assessment, prioritization and mitigation. To that end, you need to understand your entire supply network, including all nodes, ports and sub-suppliers. Only then can you determine which are the most critical to your supply chain in order to delegate responsibilities and tasks.
Create Contingency Plans
If the forecast indicates that a storm is coming to a region in which your supply chain operates, develop backup or contingency plans. While this is sometimes difficult in the electronics sector when it comes to the sourcing of specific raw materials or components, taking this tactic works with many other elements in the manufacturing of your products. One solution is to identify secondary providers who can come through in a pinch. If this is impossible, consider stockpiling specialized inventory that cannot be easily conveyed by other vendors.
Tailor Your Supply Chain to Fit Weather-Related Demand
There may be situations when you might want to adjust your supply network away from the center of the affected area to ensure that the flow of materials and end products is not interrupted. In other instances, your company might opt to pivot the network into the affected area. If, for instance, storm conditions led to the ruin of electronics items in a particular region, your organization might be able to fill the immediate need to replace them during the rebuilding process, leading to increased profits and a boost to your brand.
Move Supply Chain Software to the Cloud
The after-effects of hurricanes, earthquakes and snowstorms can last days or even weeks. Thanks to modern cloud-based data storage, companies with supply chain nodes or headquarters in storm-impacted areas don’t need to sacrifice productivity or security because of inclement conditions.
Use Technology to Provide Targeted Forecasts
It can be difficult to get a handle on the weather conditions experienced by a supplier thousands of miles away from your headquarters. However, it is just such information that you need in order to begin the real-time supply chain pivoting process that helps to ensure the seamless flow of components and manufactured products. Modern supply chain management technology is equipped with tools that can alert you to potentially damaging conditions that are about to impact any node in your network.
Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and other weather events are facts of life that may well continue to worsen in frequency and severity in upcoming years. Shielding your supply chain from the worst of their ramifications can help to ensure that natural disasters don’t lead to crippling bottlenecks or total supply chain disruption.
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